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The Top Branding Strategies for 2016

As we enter a new year, many people are choosing to adopt new hobbies and resolutions to improve their wellbeing. Every new year’s resolution is designed with good intentions, but change in the new year is not merely limited to individuals. As a manufacturer, you can improve your brand in 2016 as well.

There are a lot of trends anticipated for next year. Manufacturers are going to have to improve their brand identities to cater to these trends and appease both their potential and pre-existing customer bases. A simple set of strategies can make brand improvement an easy task in 2016.

We’ve put together the top 4 branding strategies manufacturers should seriously consider for success in 2016. From brand protection to empowerment, these strategies are easy to adopt and present manufacturers with high reward potential.

Brand with Purpose

Every one of your customers has an intangible asset you can use to your advantage, and it’s called emotion. There are plenty of ways you can appeal to emotions, like with advertising and messaging. But beyond that, you can use it to improve the customer experience on your site. There are a couple of ways to do this.

Just like John Lennon, your shoppers get by with a little help from your business. By offering helpful services to your customers like Olark’s innovative live chat service, you can make their visit to your store a memorable one. They’re more than likely to remember that your store was incredibly helpful with any questions they had regarding your product.

But not every manufacturer has their own online store. Aside from advertising with an emotional message, manufacturers can help customers after their shopping process as well. Offering a phone number or website on the package of each of your products can inform the shopper that you’re always willing to help with any questions they may have once they start using the product.

Be Flexible

It sounds like a lot of work, but rebranding your company might be a good idea if 2015 didn’t provide the superb results you were hoping for. When it comes to solving a puzzle, you have to consider every piece. Your business is the same exact way, and if you think your brand value isn’t as strong as it used to be then rebranding should be seriously considered.

Look at Old Spice. After a series of zany ads circa 2009, the manufacturer successfully rebranded its business and definitely reaped the benefits. What was once a simple, complacent brand is now affiliated with loud screams, wolves and swagger. Your business can do the same, even if you aren’t as large as Old Spice.

Measuring your brand’s current standing is not exactly the easiest task in the world. One of the most feasible ways to get a measurement is to offer pre-existing shoppers a survey. Email the survey, and give a discount on your products to incentivize them to actually fill it out. The results will inform you on where you can improve your business.

Build Brand Loyalty

Loyalty is one of the most valuable assets to win from your shoppers, and for good reason. It’s much less expensive to sell to a pre-existing customer than acquiring a new one, and if you can build loyalty early then you can simplify the selling processes for the upcoming purchases. But how can you build loyalty for your brand, especially if you aren’t selling directly to consumers?

Keeping your hands out of the selling process can keep your business more focused, but at the same time, it inhibits your ability to tailor the overall shopping experience. Therefore, you have to make sure you include something with your item that will keep customers coming back.

The first area you can improve to build loyalty is your product’s quality. Beyond that, your pricing, as well as your willingness to improve the post-purchase process, are other ways to improve your brand loyalty.  If your company lacks loyalty programs or perks, you should consider implementing them in 2016.

Monitor and Protect

One of the easiest ways to lose your brand value is to let a product fall into the hands of a grey market seller. Fine-tuning your overall brand experience takes a lot of work, and it’s always a shame to see that hard work go to waste. Pre-established deals regarding your products’ imaging and pricing are thrown off the table when dealing with grey market sellers, so how can you make sure your products get into the right hands?

Automated price monitoring solutions can scan the web for your products’ UPCs to see where they are being sold at all times. Not only that, but they can tell you the price they’re being sold at. So if you catch a grey market seller and they’re offering the product at a price much lower than your minimum advertised price, you know you should contact them to address the issue.

You can send a cease and desist letter, or you can take it a step further and create a new relationship with the retailer, authorizing them to sell your products in the future. If the retailer’s brand is well known, this can be extremely beneficial for your brand value. Regardless of what you choose, monitoring and protecting your brand is a must in 2016.

eCommerce is growing, and it’s currently showing no signs of slowing down. After an already impressive Thanksgiving weekend and a promising holiday forecast, retailers are going to be looking to increase their product selling breadth. Make sure your brand value is continuously optimized for success with these tips.

Interested in monitoring your reseller network in the new year? Learn more about MAP monitoring with Wiser Solutions.

Brian Smyth

Brian Smyth is a former content writer at Wiser, a dynamic pricing and merchandising engine for online retailers. He holds a BS in business with a concentration in marketing from San Francisco State University.

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